There is exciting news at Esperanza! After much planning and preparing, we are opening a new CILA that will provide a safe, permanent home for eight women with developmental disabilities. CILA stands for Community Integrated Living Arrangement, and as the name implies, CILA homes help residents build skills and live as independently as possible while staying connected to the community.

The new home is like any other you’d see on a quiet, residential Chicago street. Outside, a large back yard makes a great spot for cookouts –or just hanging out. Inside, a shared kitchen, dining room and living room invite residents to build friendships. Large bedrooms provide quiet space and privacy.

This new home is part of Esperanza’s CILA program, which provides a small group, family-style approach to supporting adults with developmental disabilities. This contrasts sharply with outmoded approaches like large institutions or hospitals. Such approaches are not only less efficient and more expensive, they can’t provide the level of customized attention and support that every individual needs.

This new home will bring the total number of Esperanza CILA homes to four, with Esperanza providing support to women at two homes and men at two homes. The homes are in safe neighborhoods with access to public transportation, recreational opportunities, and much more.

In Esperanza’s CILA program, each resident is supported to continue building the skills that are vital to his or her growth and journey toward increased independence. Each resident has a growth plan that outlines goals in areas like daily living skills (which includes meal preparation, dressing, and grooming),

as well as integration skills like communication, using public transportation and navigating the community, grocery shopping, using and managing money, and more.

Most CILA residents spend their weekdays at Esperanza’s Adult Day Program. Others work in the community, earning money that they can save or spend. Weekends, or course, are for relaxing and fun. Each home is staffed at all times, ensuring that residents are supported and safe. The CILA program is making a huge difference for residents. Residents are growing skills and their lives, as well as the lives of their family members, are being transformed thanks to the support of Esperanza. “I have a lot of good in me,” says Tee, a resident of Esperanza’s newest home. “ I just need a little help.”

This home is a much-needed resource, but also a significant investment of time, effort and financial resources. But we have also invested much care and love. Like every home, it will require maintenance, mortgage payments, and more. Your donation today will ensure Esperanza’s ability to continue providing skill-building for Tee and her housemates in a supportive, family-like environment for years to come. “I want to learn to take care of myself,” Tee says with determination. “I want to try my best.”

This new home brings to life our mission to help people with developmental disabilities build independence, and we are dedicated to it. You can help sustain it. Please, make a gift to Esperanza today.

This would not be possible without generous funding and support we’ve received from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, as well as our partners at First American Bank, who worked with us at every step of the way. Thank you.

Make a donation that will help provide a permanent home for people with developmental disabilities.